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The user who commented that Lucas's LOOK AT LIFE film pioneered rapid
montage obviously hasn't seen the films of Bruce Conner or Joseph Cornell.
These were the true pioneers. Check their films out instead. Lucas has in
interviews given huge credit to and cited great influence from the actual
pioneering American independent and experimental filmmakers like James
Broughton, Sidney Peterson, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, and Kenneth Anger.
These films were shown/taught to him in his school days at USC and he had
been exposed to them as a part of the vibrant '60s San Francisco
George is no slouch of a filmmaker, certainly, and pioneered things in his own right that are big parts of today's film and pop culture, but let's not give him credit that's not due him, especially when people like Broughton and the others I've mentioned have consistently been ignored by mainstream film enthusiasts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Look at Life" is an over 50-year-old film by the famous George Lucas that he made really early in his career. He was around the age of 20 and a film student at this point. There is nothing too special to this one here. It runs for easily under a minute and is more like a collection of photographs than really a movie. It has solid value in the face of when it was made, but it does not have a plot or a story. So yeah, if you really love Lucas, you can check this one out, but otherwise you are not missing much. You have to hold his age in his favor and it's not a failure for such a young filmmaker and also not among his worst works looking at his early stuff especially. Still, it is also not good enough to let me recommend the watch. Thumbs down.
1) Images. 2) Sound. 3) Editing. = A movie.
That's how George Lucas conceives how making a film. It's his first one and he never changed his mind about that. For George Lucas, cinema is like painting or sculpture: a TECHNICAL ART. Writing is not really important. Writing is the last thing that "makes" a film. The images have to tell the story. That's why the Lucas' shorts movies were silent. And the last Lucas' films are always. Images, sound, editing, and not important dialogs: that's how we should see The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones.
Look at "Life" is a nice one-minute short which condenses all these concepts. It shows really how this mean to do can create the emotion.
THIS FILM IS PRESENT ON THE DOCUMENTARY ABOUT American ZOETROPE ON THE DVD BONUS OF THX 1138.
Q: HEY, CHRIS, WILL I ENJOY "LOOK AT LIFE"?
Yes, but only if you enjoy seeing a plethora of still pictures thrown at you in the span of a minute. If you don't dig this kind of artsy and pseudo-pretentious vibe, skip Lucas's student films altogether.
LOOK AT LIFE pioneered the kind of rapid photo montage that has now become a staple on such guilty pleasures as VH1's BEHIND THE MUSIC. (Even the E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY gets into the spirit once and awhile.) But, hell, even big feature films use this technique. What would the montage-heavy Ted Demme film BLOW be without Lucas's influence? Okay, so you're insulting/applauding me for the observation, but wait till you see LOOK AT LIFE. The influence is there, Dear Readers.
BUT CHRIS, AREN'T MOST BIG TIME FILMMAKERS WEIRD ABOUT LETTING THE PUBLIC SEE THEIR EARLY WORKS? HOW WOULD I EVER SEE THIS THING?
A: Yes, most big time filmmakers are weird about letting the public see their early works. But, there is hope. If you're currently attending Mr. Lucas's alma mater, you'll be forced (at gunpoint) to watch the thing... Even if you're in the university's Dentistry program.
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